More Daylesford and Hepburn Village link trails
This is the second of three posts describing bike, walk, run link trails between Hepburn Village and Daylesford town. These are far more interesting and pleasant than the staid tarmac route offered by Goldfields Track.
West meets East describes an 8km circuit that firstly courses west of Main Road as East of Eden link. Compared to Circuit Trail West, we stay low on the east bank of Doctors Gully. At the northern end it swings around the Hepburn Spa Resort and Bathhouse into the Hepburn Mineral Springs Reserve. From there, as Wedge-tail link, it enters Hepburn Regional Park and finally pops out on Main Road via Hillview Rd.
This West meets East circuit offers riders of the Goldfields Track the choice of 2 more one-way links to add to the two in Circuit Trail West. Any rider can design their own link route by crossing from one link to another. For example after exiting Hillview Rd, you might follow Ingrow Lane on the other side of Main Rd per Circuit Trail West.
What you might like to know
R = right. L = left. SA = straight ahead. N,E,S,W are approximate compass directions. Map and GPX route downloadable from GPSies at end of this post.
East of Eden link has a few moderate slopes, all short. Although IMBA UK trail grading is BLUE (moderate), this is the easiest of the four links to date.
Wedge-tail link is designed to encompass only moderate slopes. Some of the side excursions, such as via the outdoor swimming pool, involve steeper slopes. IMBA UK trail grading is BLUE (moderate).
7.9 km. Circuit elevation change is 146m while climb is 419m.
East of Eden link
Named East of Eden due to running along the east side of Doctors Gully. Until recently this was indeed a wilderness that could easily have been hiding Adam and Eve. And certainly more than a few serpents. However, managed burnoffs are turning it into rather a pleasant area.
Enter off the Daylesford Hepburn road via an unnamed track almost opposite Hodge St (photo above). This track looks private but is public. SA from the gravel/dirt onto a 4WD track in the grass.
A few ups and downs (will be slippery after rain) bring you to a four way junction. Take the track past the lower side of the small building (photo right). You now roll more easily above the stream, ignoring a major track upwards to the east. From here, with the track across Doctors Gully often in sight, you gradually descend to the stream. There are some pleasant looking picnic spots in this stretch.
SA, keeping close to the stream, ignoring tracks L and R. More houses appear across the stream and immediately to your R. A 180° sweep at S end of housing spur takes you up to the housing. But keep L around top of small gully onto a narrow road that soon brings you to a compulsory stop at a tarmac road. R onto Fifth St up a short hill and you meet the Daylesford Hepburn road again but this time in Hepburn Village. On your right is a lovely stone bus shelter. L down the main street on the cycle lane.
If you are looking for an eclectic range of gifts or have any questions about the Village, then pop into Portal 108 adjacent to the post office. Connie and Kyla are an effervescent fount of village knowledge. Further south on the east side of the road is Blue Bean Love Cafe (previously Red Star Cafe) where I had a great coffee at a sun drenched outside table.
Onward south on the main road and a broad 180° sweep brings you to the famed Hepburn Bath House entrance on your R. Safely cross the road and continue along the access road to the far car park and bbq area.
You are in the Hepburn Regional Park. Feel free to stop off at any of the mineral spring pumps you see along the way or take a meal break at the cafe. Public toilets available. Circuit the perimeter of the car park, maybe stopping for a bbq (photo) and take any path down to the lowest path which has mineral spring pumps dotted along it.
The route out of the springs area is above the playground and there is no distinct path across the grass. However the wide dirt track is visible from sections of the springs pathway. A Red Star Walk sign hangs from a tree at the track start and begins the Wedge-tail link segment of this circuit. A moderately steep climb brings you quickly to a crossing where you go L. A fairly cruisy climb through eucalypt woodland past many mullock heaps (photo) from the gold rush days.
1st R and maybe stop at the top of the rise and look R. It was here a few years ago that we became aware of a form taking shape in the gully at R.
It was a wedge-tail eagle of what seemed enormous wing span in this cluttered forest. It
rose unhurriedly, weaving its way casually between the trees until it cleared the tree tops and escaped our sight. A sight we won’t forget for a long time. I don’t regret not getting a photo as in doing so I would have missed the sheer beauty of those 20 seconds or so. Based on its flight path when we first became aware, we presume it may have been on the ground in the gully, perhaps feeding on a rabbit.
1st L drops down to a stream which is usually rideable without getting your feet wet. Then up and veer R until you see a house ahead R and take the L track. From here keep SA the big gully on your immediate R, ignoring tracks off.
There is continued evidence of mining which you are welcome to explore but be aware that some of the holes are deep. Eventually you come to a rising straight stretch of road (photo) which brings you to a T. R at T onto Hillview Rd and a short distance brings you to the Daylesford Hepburn Rd for the 3rd time.
Cross the road to the shared cycle way and L takes you south towards Daylesford. Either continue on the cycleway (watch for cars at intersections and drive ways) or turn R into Ingrow Lane and join up with Circuit Trail West to take you back to Daylesford. You are then just 2 blocks away from consistently great coffee at Buffalo Soldier Coffee Bar or Breakfast & Beer.
Select GPSies logo at right to inspect the map and download GPX or other file formats.
For reverse route directions, select Show Options in right column of the GPSies map page.